December 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

'Tis the Season for Travel Training
Wreath made with supplies purchased during a travel training excursion.
Earlier this  mont h,  I started the Family of Travel Training modules via Easterseals Proje ct Action Consulting. Travel trainers teach people with disabilities, older adults, and interested travelers how to access and use public transportation independently.  The focus thus far has been on defining Travel Training from three perspectives: origin to destination, orientation, and how to use mobility devices on transit. 

Ruth, a senior resident, called the GetThere Call Center saying she wanted to be able to do some shopping on her own, however she did not have a vehicle and had not used public transit in years. Ruth was able to utilize the OFA Mini Bus from Binghamton Senior Housing.  After her first session of travel training, Ruth determined she would feel more comfortable doing so with friends. We set up a time and sent out invitations to Ruth's friends in her building so they could join us in an origin to destination travel training to A.C. Moore. There, we picked up some decorating items to make some festive wreaths. A colleague stated that travel training was about "taking the scary out of transit". After the training, th e ladies discussed taking further trips together and organizing more trainings to include others from their building. Public transit can be convenient, comfortable, and fun!  

 Ruth and her friends are accompanied by Emily Blakeslee on an origin to destination travel training.

Emily Blakeslee
Seniors and Disabilities Specialist
Mobility Management of SCNY

For more information about travel training  programs, please contact the GetThere Call Center at 
1- 855-373-4040.

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FaHN Receives 2017 Farm to School Grant

Farm to school is a win for students, farmers and communities, and that's why the Food & Health Network (FaHN) has been working to build sustainable farm to school programs in the Southern Tier since 2012. We're excited to announce that FaHN has been selected as one of seven recipients of a 2017 NYS Farm to School Grant. This project will build on several years of successful collaboration with Broome-Tioga BOCES Food Service, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Food Bank of the Southern Tier, local farms, and many others to increase the amount of locally grown food in school meals. In partnership with BT-BOCES we'll work with Chenango Valley Central School District, Johnson City Central School District, Tioga Central School District, Vestal Central School Districts and Whitney Point Central School District to purchase more local produce, pilot a NY Thursday menu program, integrate smarter lunchrooms practices, and extend learning and healthy eating habits from the cafeteria into classroom education.

"I am excited that this grant will help us bring additional New York State products into our schools and allow our students the opportunity to try new local items. I hope to see more students trying the new products we will be bringing in for them. " said Bryan McCoy, Lead Food Service Supervisor, Broome-Tioga BOCES/Johnson City Central Schools.

A student from Johnson City casts their ballot in favor of adding kale to the school menu after sampling a fall salad.

This fall we've been visiting school districts to test out a fall kale salad featuring kale grown by Main Street Farms in Cortland, NY and chopped and washed at Crooked Carrot near Ithaca, NY. By partnering with a local processor, the kale is ready to use when it gets to the schools, making it an easy transition to local produce. The kale salad has been a huge hit with students, and we are looking forward to working with schools to feature more new items like this through the NY Thursday pilot. Thank you to all of the committed farm to school champions in this region, and to NYS for investing in farm to school! You can  read the full press release here.
We're Hiring!

Join our team!  We have an opening for a part-time (20 hours per week) position for a Community Health Worker to be based in Delaware County.  

Resumes will be accepted through January 13, 2017 and should be emailed to with the subject line: Community Health Services Search Committee.  
What do you think?

Rural Health Network of South Central New York prides itself on producing quality reports and assessments that help to educate and inform the community on rural needs, barriers, and assets. Two of our programs, Rural Broome Counts and the Food and Health Network of South Central New York, have released a number of reports and assessments over the last few years.

We are working to expand on this work, but would like to get a sense of what you, our readership think, value, and desire. Please take five minutes to respond to this survey and provide your input on the direction of our work moving forward.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Emily Hotchkiss or Mary Maruscak .

Recruitment Message

Wednesday, December 7th, RHSC AmeriCorps members gathered at Broome County Council of Churches to attend a Substance Abuse Prevention overview. Members learned about the signs of substance abuse from Jill Alford-Hammitt from Lourdes. They were also trained by staff at STAP (Southern Tier AIDS Program) and received a certification to administer Narcan in an emergency overdose situation. Thank you to both Lourdes and STAP for adding to our AmeriCorps members' tool kits, and to BCCC for the use of their meeting room. 

Time is running out to apply to a full-time position with RHSC! Positions with Mobility Management of South Central New York and CHOW are still available, so  apply now if you are interested or spread the word if you know of anyone who might be a good fit! For more information please see  our website or call Haley Desilet at  607-692-7669

Support our 2016 Annual Campaign 
The Rural Health Network of South Central New York works towards optimal individual and community wellness through the programs outlined above and other efforts.  The strength of our agency is based on the many organizational and individual partners who share our committment to health and wellbeing. We appreciate the support of our donors, friends, and partners in 2016. Your contributions of time, talents, in-kind services, and financial donations make our successes possible. Thank you!

If you have been considering making a 2016 gift, tax-deductible donations can be made online for your convenience via our website.
Wrapping Up the Year With Thanks
Jack Salo, Executive Director

Year-end can be a bitter sweet time, especially when it means saying goodbye to a good friend.   At our final Board meeting of 2016 last week, we took time to thank and recognize Sister Kathleen Natwin for her five years of service on the Rural Health Network of SCNY Board.  Sister Kathleen served as Treasurer, Co-Chair of the Governance Committee and was an active member of Executive Committee.  In addition to her Board service, Sister Kathleen was a tireless advocate for securing the resources needed to support the work of the Rural Health Network SCNY.  Sister Kathleen introduced us to Mission & Ministry, Inc. (Ministry of the Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise) which provided important financial support for the Rural Health Connections Project, an AmeriCorps - Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network partnership.  This project has provided outreach to the most rural residents in a five county service area and connected isolated individuals and families to health insurance enrollment assistance and other health related services.  Sister Kathleen will be relocating to the Albany area in January and we will continue to keep connected through correspondence and visits - Albany is not that far away!  

We also recognized and thanked Judy Quaranta outgoing President of the Rural Health Network of SCNY, for over three years of service as Board President. Dr. Judith Quaranta is an Assistant Professor at the Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing. Judy had limited non-profit governance experience when she stepped up to fill an unplanned Board President vacancy in late 2013, but that quickly changed as she tackled the work and provided strong and consistent leadership.  In reflecting on Judy's leadership over the past three plus years, the words "walk the talk" come to mind.  In addition to leading the Board of Directors, Judy served on the Executive and Finance Committees and the Personnel Policy Work Group that completed a major revision to personnel policies approved by the Board of Directors this year. Judy will continue serving as a Rural Health Network SCNY Board Member next year.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge and thank all of the members of the Rural Health Network of SCNY Board of Directors for their service this past year, and to wish all a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Jack Salo
Executive Director
NYS Marketplace Open Enrollment
The Rural Health Network of SCNY is working with community partners to remind people that the NYSOH Marketplace is open for business! From now until January 31, NYS residents can visit  to shop for affordable, quality health insurance coverage.  

The marketplace website includes tools to compare plans based on your preferred health care providers and prescription drugs. You can also compare plans by how much you think you'd spend over the course of next year, based on you and your family's personal health care needs.

For assistance in enrolling in a healthcare plan, c all NYS Marketplace Help Line at 1-855-355-5777 or TTY 1-800-662-1220  Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm or Sat. 9 am - 1 pm.

To find an in person assistor in your area, contact the Rural Health Network of SCNY at  607 692-7669, M-F, 8 am -4:30 pm. 
Read the full article here.
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